The Pantheon and Engaging the Architect Within
Thinking of the Pantheon while engaging the architect within helps me begin, despite of uncertainty. Not knowing the outcome before embarking on something is really hard, but even if there are no guarantees, I can’t just sit around and wait for something benevolent to happen. Nervous or not, wrong or right — life cannot be avoided and I might as well plan for my thoughts to support, not undermine my efforts.
Engaging the architect within helps me cultivate being at ease with dubious hesitancy
Dr. Brene Brown, Ph. D., a social worker-researcher-author argues that it takes courage to accept ourselves for who we are, to feel compassion — not shame — for ourselves.
Engaging the architect within gives me the “courage” Dr. Brown is referring to. It allows me to shamelessly accept my inner beauty and say: “I am enough!”
I start by bravely enduring ambiguity and diving right in, here and now. It’s the precise moment when I can unleash my creative potential. For inspiration, I can think of a few buildings and the human genius that made them possible.
For instance, I can pretend to be the architect of Rome’s Pantheon, one of the most influential ancient buildings, a philosophical summation of what a monument should entail. Thus, in my mind’s eye, through the enormous bronze doors, I enter one great circular room.
Acknowledging human genius that makes the Pantheon possible gives me the tools necessary
How do I plan for the all-embracing idea and the means to express it? How do I articulate the most engagingly balanced Space — forceful, uplifting and soothing at the same time.
Purity is at the core of Its majestic power.
I calm my anxiety by implementing stability and integrity of the Room. The interior houses an imaginary sphere. Two simple volumes: a cylinder below and a dome above, both of the same diameter and the same height. It suits the Pantheon magnificently! Dedicated to all gods, the structure is a physical model of eternal cosmos assertively communicated through geometric clarity of the circle that has neither beginning nor end.
Composite materials get lighter in weight as the structure rises to the top
I strive for the unity of space and form. The Pantheon’s foundations are built of heavy basalt, the walls are made of tufa, brick and concrete. Sunken panels or coffers cleverly reduce the mass of the dome — constructed in stepped rings of porous pumice, it gets thinner approaching the top. Hidden voids and interior recesses of the cylinder make it work less as a solid mass and more as three continuous arcades corresponding to the three tiers of relieving arches visible on the exterior.
The light enters through an unglazed oculus at the center of the dome.
It is a symbolic link between the temple and the heavens. It serves as a cooling and ventilation method as well. As the sun moves, striking patterns illuminate the walls and floors of porphyry, granite and yellow marbles.
I flush the insecurities by installing a drainage system below ground to handle the rain that falls through the oculus during storms. As my thoughts highlight the beloved details of the Pantheon, I am empowered. Embracing the architect within allows me to courageously accept my vulnerability. How liberating! I am enough! I go on and do it. What about you? Any thoughts? Please address them to me here.